Scotland beats Pumas 41-31 at Murrayfield
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scotland’s fresh-faced side beat Argentina 41-31 for the first time at Murrayfield in 24 years on Saturday.
Featuring 10 players from the high-flying Glasgow Warriors, Scotland’s cohesion and exuberance made up for its relative lack of experience in defeating a Pumas side fresh off beating Australia in the Rugby Championship.
After losing on its Murrayfield debut in 1990, Argentina had won four straight there and was favored to triumph again.
But the Scots romped ahead 34-10 after an hour, and spoiled their fun by playing the entire last quarter a man down, which Argentina exploited to score three of the last four tries.
“We’re a little bit disappointed at letting in 31, but we scored 41 points and we’re delighted with the win and the way we played,” captain Greig Laidlaw said.
“We’ve played with loads of confidence. The boys really enjoyed playing like that. We played with a speedy ball, and that’s what caused Argentina problems. All around Scotland, one to 15, the boys played well and that made my job easier.”
Scotland coach Vern Cotter chose boldly for his first home match, fielding brothers Richie and Jonny Gray in the second row, the 22nd set of siblings to play for Scotland, a new loose forwards combination, uncapped Mark Bennett at center, and three others making their first starts at Murrayfield.
They began badly, when 90 seconds in, Manuel Montero’s tackle jolted the ball from Laidlaw and flanker Javier Ortega Desio scooped it up and hared 60 meters to the tryline.
But within five minutes, Scotland tied the score, when Richie Gray finished a long buildup with a converted try.
Nicolas Sanchez retook the lead for the Pumas with a penalty, but when scrumhalf Martin Landajo was sin-binned for a late tackle, Scotland took advantage. Jonny Gray went over, then a Laidlaw quick-tap of a penalty sent in winger Sean Maitland, and it was 21-10.
Laidlaw converted both, and added a penalty for a 24-10 halftime lead. Laidlaw set up the first try of the second half, for fullback Stuart Hogg, and by the time he was replaced at 34-10, he’d nailed six out of eight shots at goal from all angles, and hit the post once.
Scotland let the Pumas back in the match when flanker Rob Harley was yellow-carded for a lineout foul, then, as Harley returned, reserve lock Jim Hamilton was carded just four minutes after going on.
The Pumas received a penalty try from referee Wayne Barnes, and finished with a pair by replacement scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli, all converted, to give the scoreline some gloss.
Scotland 41 (Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, Sean Maitland Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour tries; Greig Laidlaw 4 conversions, 2 penalties, Duncan Weir conversion), Argentina 31 (Tomas Cubelli 2, Javier Ortega Desio tries; penalty try; Nicolas Sanchez conversion, penalty, Juan Martin Hernandez 3 conversions). HT: 24-10